As the Magistrate’s Court in the UK this week formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States and with the feature documentary film Ithaka, about Julian’s family’s fight for his release from prison where he has been held for three years without charge, opened in cinemas nationally yesterday to critical acclaim, Helen Haines, MP, Independent Member for Indi, has spoken out in support of Mr Assange.
Ms Haines said, “Voters expect us to hold accountable those who commit wrong-doing, not to punish those who expose it, such as Julian Assange.” The family’s campaign is building momentum throughout the world, including in Australia where a number of politicians have now come out calling on the Australian Government to intervene in Assange’s case and petition the US Government to return Assange to Australia.
Directed by acclaimed Australian filmmaker Ben Lawrence (Hearts & Bones, Ghosthunter), and filmed over two years across the UK, Europe and the US, Ithaka follows 76-year-old retired builder John Shipton’s tireless campaign to save his son, Julian Assange. The world’s most famous political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has become an emblem of an international arm wrestle over freedom of journalism, government corruption and unpunished war crimes. Now with Julian facing a 175 year sentence if extradited to the US, his family members are confronting the prospect of losing Julian forever to the abyss of the US justice system.
This David-and-Goliath struggle is personal – and, with Julian’s health declining in a British maximum-security prison and American government prosecutors attempting to extradite him to face trial in the US, the clock is ticking. Weaving historic archive and intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this story tracks John’s journey alongside Julian’s partner (now wife), Stella Moris, as they join forces to advocate for Julian.
Ithaka provides a timely reminder of the global issues at stake in this case, as well as an insight into the personal toll inflicted by the arduous, often lonely task of fighting for a cause bigger than oneself. Ithaka is screening nationally in selected cinemas. For screening details go to: https://ithaka.movie
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